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(our JøtWøu CmosfimibtKt *We deem it right to state that we do not at all tfmeg Wntify ourselves with our Correspondent's opinions,] The terrible scenes associated with the progress of a great war have been described by graphic pens before to-day, but probably no picture was ever so power- fully drawn as that by Byron in his Childe Harold ;— lo! where the giant on the mountain stands, His blood-red tresses deepening in the sun, The death-shot glowing in his flery hands, And eye that scorches all it glares upon." This quotation has often been a favourite one with some of our public men, and on one occasion was given with great emphasis by Mr. Bright, whilst addressing an immense meeting in the Town Hall at Birming- ham. It was after Parliament had been dissolved in April, 1859, and when the late Emperor Napoleon was preparing to go to war with Austria, Mr. Bright, in depicting the horrors of war, could find no more effective illustration, or one which would be more telling with a popular assembly than the one above given. A few weeks later the battles of Magenta and Solferino were fought in Lombardy, the latter more especially being of a very sanguinary character. The stern realities of war had been brought home to some of the fairest lands in Europe, and what these were the letters of the Special Correspondents of the London papers fully showed. There are few callings more arduous or so surrounded with hazards as that of a war correspondent. To watch, for instance, during several days, such fighting as that which lately went on in the Shipka Pass, to record your observations amid a storm of rifle bullets, and to ride on horseback sixty miles through the night from the Balkans to the Danube in order to reach a telegraph office, illustrate the perils and the fatigue inseparable from the proper discharge of duties which few care to undertake, but having undertaken, carry them out in a way which places impolltant historical events like a brilliantly- executed photograph before the eyes of the whole newspaper-reading world. Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, is a square which has been adorned with the statues of men no less famous in the works of peace than in those of war. Close to the Duke of York's column, and overlooking St. James's Park, are the statues of Lord Clyde, Sir John Franklin, and latest of all, Sir John Burgoyne. Lord Clyde lies in the Abbey, whose venerable towers may be seen rising over the venerable structure across the Park, but the remains of Franklin long since mingled with the snows of the Arctic regions. Both Lord Clyde (as Sir Colin Campbell,) and Sir John Burgoyne went through the hardships of the Crimean campaign, the latter as a general of engineers having the control of the operations by which Sebastopol was ultimately captured. It was the yacht of Sir John Burgoyne which brought the Empress Eugene across the Channel after the Revolution in Paris on the 4th September, 1870; and it was remarked at the time that the passage must have been made concurrently with the capsizing of the turret-ship Captain, off Cape Finisterre, when the veteran's son, her gallant com- mander, went down with his vessel, although the few men who escaped in one of the boats begged him te save his life and to come with them. Are you coming, sir?" at length asked one of the men after several entreaties to the captain, who was then fight- ing with the waves. No, no, save yourselves!" was the reply; and amid the midnight darkness, the howling of the storm, and the furious lashing of the sea, the boat moved away, its occupants sadly conscious of the fact that their noble ship in which they took so much pride, and held to be the most powerful in the English navy, was then lying at the bottom of the sea twelve hundred fathoms down. There, free from the tides and currents which move the surface the costly ironclad will hold together for ages yet to come. Most people remember the passage in Macaulay, where the historian, writing of the Chapel in the Tower of London, expresses his regret at the stupidity which had transformed this interesting little church into the likeness of a meeting-house in a manufacturing town." In truth there are few sadder spots in London than this little cemetery. Thither have been carried through successive ages by the rude hands of gaolers, without one mourner following, the bleeding relics of men who had been the captains of armies, the leaders of parties, the oracles of senates, and the ornaments of courts. Macaulay did not live to see the restoration which has brought back the chapel, as far as it can be brought back, to the state in which it was when the ground was ever opening to receive a fresh victim of the tyranny of a Tudor. Alexander Pope once ex- claimed :— Oh 'tis the sweeetest of all earthly things To gaze on princes and to talk of kings!" And if princes cannot be gazed upon in the Tower of London as it is seen to-day, kings can be talked of, and the history of the persons buried in the chapel can be very effectually studied. Here was buried Queen Anne Boieyn, who almost in her last words prayed for the life of the king, her sovereign lord, whom she described as one of the best princes on the face of the earth, and who had always treated her so well, that better could not be, as she averred. Mr. Hepworth Dixon, in that most interesting work of his entitled Her Majesty's Tower," haa told us that on the morning of Anne Boleyn's execution a merry hunting party, with Henry VIII. at its head, was assembled at breakfast in a hostelry on Tower Hill, and amongst the merriest of that party was the king himself. They enjoyed the meal none the less— perhaps all the more—because of the tragic drama which had been enacted with the headsman as its lead- ing personage, and appreciated the scene quite as orach aa the Duke ef Orleans when in the first French Revolution he was accustomed to sit at one of the windows of the Palais Royal, and witness the death of the unfortunate victims who had been condemned to the guillotine by the Revolutionary Tribunal. Accounts from Madras serve to give some idea of the nature of the visitation which has fallen upon that Presidency. The relief camps are full, and the streets and beach of the city are crowded with poor emaciated creatures who scramble for every stray grain of rice that falls upon the ground. The means of conveyance in the interior are inadequate, and it will take months to provide engines sufficiently powerful to carry the requisite supplies. Comparing the severity of the present famine with that which occurred in Bengal three or four years ago there can be no question that this is the far worse calamity. If we can imagine a contingency in which in this country the quartern loaf would increase in price from 6d. to 2s. we shall be able to form some notion of the rise of the prices of provisions in Madras. Up to the latest advices three millions sterling had been expended in direct relief and is it calculated that nearly the same amount will be wanted up to January next. Taking into con- sideration the ipss of revenue through non-cultivation of the land, the total cost of the famine to the Presi- dency of Madras is expected to be about eight millions sterling. The gravity of the perils which menace the empire of the Czar, and the rapidity with which those perils will multiply in case the war is a protracted one, lend some interest to the condition of Russian finance-a subject which has not in times past received much attention in this country. It appears that the fixed revenue of that vast empire ranges from £67,000,000 to 270,000,000 sterling per annum, or 210,000,000 less than our own. But from this sum a heavy deduction must be made for machinery." The expenses of the Ministry of Finance alone are set down at in,500,000, which mostly goes for the collection of taxes. Thus the Russian revenue is reduced to less than 960,000,000, and this is all that is available for the support of a complex and costly administrative ayvtem. The Ruwian army coats over 220,000,000 a year, and another 212,000,000 has to be devoted to the pay- ment of the interest on the national debt. The revenue is as inelastic as the expenditure seems to be incompressible. More than one-third of the gross income of the empire is derived from the excise on spirits and the Russian Government is deterred from attempting to increase this by the fear that illicit dis- tillation on a large scale would follow, thus necessita- ting an expensive development of the police system. The burden ef the empire falls most heavily on the populations of central and southern Russia the out- lying territories not only give no additional strength, but must be subtracted from an estimate of the forces of the country in a time of struggle. Nor is this true only in respect of finance; Poland, Turkestan, and Transcaucasia not only do not pay their expenses, but they are also centres of political disturbance, Although the wheat erops have not yielded so abun- dantly as in some previous years when there has been less wet weather, seldom have vegetables of all kinds been better or more plentiful thanoluring the past few months. It is said that potatoes have never bee a finer, and this is especially satisfactory at a time when there has seemed sutfh a danger of the introduction of the Colorado beetle. The gravity ef the danger was fortu- nately recognized by the legislature, and the Act provid- ing for the extermination of the insect, should it appear, was a most welcome addition to the statute book. One cause of the favourable yield of vegetables was the freedom of the seed-beds from the fly iji the spring. In towns those who have garden plots do not, as a rule, care much about devoting these to the cultivation of vegetables, and it must be admitted that flowers look much more picturesque. In some blooks of Peabody's Buildings, however, where the yards as occupy the quadrangle some attempts at the raising of vegetables are often made. In Oc summer and autumn evenings, after the work. mm has returned from his labour, he settles down to his little plot as an innocent means of recreation. It may be that the attention devoted to sanitary considerations in the construction of these dwellings has had its reward. In the Southwark block, situated in the Blackfriars-road, and not far above the level of the Thames, a part as densely-peopled as any in London, the rate of mortality is 12 in every thou- sand per annum, while the rate in the whole of London xceeds 30. j Raw gardens have been described as the most richly-endowed and important in the world. Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and New York can show nothing equal to them. They belong to the Crown, and are open to the public, like the national institutions in London, at specified times. The choicest exotics, attended to with every care, and the result of the most practised skill, may be witnessed at Kew. The professional botanists, who go there for study, are rather disposed to object to the request lately made at a public meeting to the effect that the people should be admitted to the gardens before the hour now fixed -cne o'clock in the afternoon. They say that as the National Gallery is closed to the public on certain days in the week, in order that the artists may not be interrupted in their work, so the botanist ought to have Kew gardens to himself during a portion of the day without having his studies inter- rupted by parties of excursionists. There is one regulation proclaimed to visitors to Kew, which is posted very conspicuously on notice boards, and is like the laws of the Medes and Persians, which were accustomed to alter not. That is the strict prohibi- tion of tobacco smoking. No matter that the excur- sionist may argue that the blue cloud is instantly absorbed by the atmosphere, smoking is not per- mitted, and the rule is an absolute one. The establishment of an Aquarium in the heart of a great city was a venture which deserved encourage- ment as giving the people an opportunity of studying the ways and habits of those denizens of the deep whose home is so mysterious to man. But the princi- pal attraction at the Aquarium at Westminster has lately been Pongo, the popular young gorilla, the first of his kind ever brought to this country. Mr. Darwin has traced the descent of man from the ape, but it is doubtful whether many human beings would fetch such a price as was given for Pongo by his present pro- prietors. Pongo's value is three thousand guineas. The animal is not to be exhibited out of London, so that all who wish to see him must come to West- minster for that purpose. He is naturally an object of great attention from spectators who crowd to the Aquarium through various motives, but more especially from eminent naturalists, whose names are as familiar in the mouths of the English people as household words, and who watch the physiological peculiarities of Pongo with all the interest of men who hold strong opinions respecting that Theory of Development which made such a sensation in the scientific world when it was first advanced a few years ago.



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